A 17-year-old male from Florida has been arrested for being the alleged “mastermind” behind the massive Twitter hack that targeted high profile accounts with a Bitcoin scam, according to prosecutors.
Graham Clark of Tampa Bay faces 30 felony charges in connection with the Bitcoin scam, according to Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew H. Warren. The charges include counts of organized fraud, communications fraud, and use of personal information.
The Bitcoin scheme gained access to dozens of top profiles like those of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and more, and reaped over $100,000 in stolen Bitcoin. Prosecutors also noted it would be difficult to recover the stolen funds, which mainly targeted “everyday Americans.”
“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here,” Warren said in a statement released to Digital Trends. “This ‘Bit-Con’ [sic] was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”
The arrest was made in conjunction with The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice, who conducted a nationwide search for the culprits. According to jail records, Clark was identified and arrested early on July 31, 2020.
As the alleged mastermind of the attack, Clark will be tried as an adult despite being a teen, as Florida law allows in cases of large financial fraud.
According to the Department of Justice, three more co-conspirators have been named and charged in the attack. Nineteen-year-old U.K.-based hacker Mason Sheppard was charged in the Northern District of California on at least three counts of fraud, including money laundering and wire fraud. Fellow hacker, 22-year-old Florida resident Nima Fazeli, was also named as a conspirator, and charged with aiding and abetting international access. A fourth defendant was also announced but will have his identity kept confidential as he is a minor.